From September 26 through October 21, 2016, I interned with Monteverde.FM. Monteverde.FM is an open-source, alternative, multimedia production project for the Monteverde area. Their mission is to inform, educate, entertain, and unite the unique bilingual community of Monteverde in order to promote sustainable local development and shared knowledge. The focus of my internship was to plan, design, and conduct interviews, with the end goal of producing three podcasts to be aired as part of Monteverde.FM’s Sustainability Studio. The podcasts produced had the overarching theme of tourism and each delved a little deeper into the impacts tourism has had in terms of sustainability in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
I interned with Monteverde.FM because I am passionate about both education and sustainability and this internship offered me the opportunity to share information in a meaningful and concise way. I was specifically interested in learning better techniques to communicate a topic that is important to me, but not widely understood: sustainability. Additionally, I felt this internship offered me valuable experience that will prove extremely useful as I take the next step in my professional career. In a matter of months, I will be joining Peace Corps Guyana as a Community Conservation Promoter. As a volunteer, I will work in remote indigenous communities to promote awareness and appreciation of the natural world and support community-based conservation efforts. Effective communication tactics will be crucial in order to carry out my job efficiently.
My internship was comprised of multiple stages, that were both challenging and educational. The first stage was interview preparation. During this stage, I learned how to develop clear and skillful questions that would eventually serve as the backbone for our podcasts. The next stage was interviewing. During the interviewing stage, I learned to use recording equipment. Additionally, I learned how to carry-out an interview and steer it in the desired direction.
The last phase was production. During this phase I learned how to use editing software, Audacity, to create and edit each of our podcasts. Although it was a tedious job, I learned the importance of being organized and detail-oriented. In addition to the skills I learned, I also learned about tourism and the social, economic, and environmental impacts it can have on a small, rural community like Monteverde.
My greatest accomplishment throughout my internship was educating people on a topic that holds great significance for Monteverde and its future. The road from Guacimal to Monteverde will be paved in the next couple years and the people have to know what that entails. Although it will make travel easier for locals, it will cause an increase in tourism. The economic benefit of this is obvious, but the social and environmental challenges cannot go unnoticed. As people become more informed on this topic, they will have greater influence over the future of Monteverde. One way or another, Monteverde has to be ready for the drastic changes an increase in tourism will have on it. How these changes are addressed will define the future of Monteverde.